Previously on view in the Amsterdam Biennale: Sina Khani

Tehran Pavilion

I Know What You Did Last Biennale

The Tehran pavilion of curator Sina Khani can be viewed from December 12, 2009 until January 3, 2010 in the Amsterdam Biennale 2009 at Mediamatic.


Artwork on the Skin of Tehran Pavilion - The Nicosia Pavilion, curator: Sina Khani. Dec 12 - Jan 3 2009/10, in the Amsterdam Biennale at Mediamatic. Raphael Rehbach


I was born in 1982 in Tehran in the twilight years of the Islamic revolution, during the Iran-Iraq war. Both of my parents were intellectuals & teachers, and had no choice but to escape from Iran in '86. We travelled through Turkey and Russia, tried to make it to Sweden, ran out of cash in Germany, and got stuck there. I went to a proper high school with 99% nerdy German richies, and lived in an sub-urban social-housing kind of area, consisting of 40% immigrants. Despite these rather sad facts I managed not to become a criminal, but a visual artist, dealing subjectively & emotionally with the environment.

I know Iran from a slight distance, and I am happy about that. Iran's cultural & visual language is determined by conventional perceptions on conservative doctrines. Not only in the governing minority. But also in the opposing majority. Thus, also the fine arts is hardly featuring any new methods, it can't be called advanced, but must be labeled as illustrative, un-original, irrelevant & more dangerously: boring. There is a large number of "successful" Iranian artists who enjoy quite some fame in the curated art world. That means that fresh, creative and groundbreaking art on Iran by Iranians does hardly ever happen inside Iran. And unfortunately it happens only rarely outside of Iran, and even less frequently at biennales, festivals, art campaigns, museums or galleries.

The work that I would like to show during the Amsterdam Biennale 2009 is my personal point of view on this misery. Spiced up with a necessary dose of humor, a revenging hunch of knowledge à la "I know what you did last biennale" and by offering my work as a promising solution: Iran + Iran - Iran = Iran.